NEW YORK (NEWS10) – The Attorney General’s Office has issued guidance to remind New Yorkers of the various rights and protections for residents following the expiration of New York’s eviction moratorium, on January 15. While the moratorium has elapsed, New York state residents can still apply to have their rent balance paid by the state under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).
According to AG, although landlords are able to start new eviction cases, proceed with existing cases, and issue eviction warrants against some tenants. New Yorkers still have a few protections under state law and access to rental assistance programs to help keep them from losing their homes as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues.
New York’s eviction protections as of January 16, 2022:
- Landlords may not charge late fees for rent that was due from March 20, 2020 through June 24, 2021 and may not seek these fees in an eviction proceeding
- Eviction cases that were filed before March 17, 2020 will be allowed to proceed only after the tenant is notified to attend a conference initiated by the court. This applies to all stages of a case, even if a judgment and/or eviction warrant has been issued
- New eviction cases can be filed without the landlord being required to provide the tenant a state hardship declaration form. Eviction cases that were previously stayed when tenants filed a New York state hardship declaration form can now proceed in court, unless an ERAP application is still pending
- Under the terms of New York’s Tenant Safe Harbor Act, tenants who were sued in a summary proceeding under Article 7 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL) for rent arrears accrued from March 7, 2020 through January 15, 2022 may be able to prevent eviction if they suffered financial loss due to COVID-19
Tenant protections under New York law, include:
- Landlords must serve written late notices and a 14-day written rent demand before starting any nonpayment eviction case in court. Landlords must also serve notice and bring a court proceeding against tenants whose leases or rental agreements have expired (without a right to renewal)
- If a tenant pays the full amount in rent before the hearing date on the nonpayment petition, the landlord must accept payment and the proceeding must be dismissed
- Courts have the discretion, for good cause, to stay or vacate a warrant, stay re-letting or renovation of a premise for a reasonable period of time, and restore tenants to possession. Courts also have the discretion to grant an occupant a stay of up to one year by taking into consideration factors such as serious illnesses and extenuating life circumstances
- It is illegal for landlords to harass or force tenants into vacating their apartments by denying or interrupting essential services or taking other actions interfering with the use of their dwelling. This conduct may constitute illegal eviction under law
- Landlords may not take self-help action to remove a lawful occupant who has lived in their dwelling for 30 consecutive days or more, without a court process
Anyone who is outside New York City can visit the New York state courts’ website to find information on how to answer a petition. In addition, people are also encouraged to contact their local city, village, or district court to find information on how to answer a petition through the court’s directory online.